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Brining a Turkey

Recipe by: Chef John V., A Good Cooking Recipe!
Serving size: as needed
Preparation time: 12 hours


1 gallon water
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar


Depending on the size of the turkey and container you may have to make a double or triple batch. Bring water, salt and sugar to a boil and then cool completely, make it the day before you need it. Remove the innards, trim the turkey as needed and wash in cold water. Place in a large non-reactive (not aluminum) pot, plastic container (home depot has 5 gallon plastic buckets) or heavy double plastic bag. Add 1 tbsp. sliced fresh garlic and 1 large branch of thyme (about 1 tbsp. worth of leaves) and 1 tbsp. black peppercorns tied in a sachet bag or cheesecloth. Pour the cold brine over to cover the bird by 2 inches. Refrigerate and brine for 12 hours. When ready to cook, remove from the brine and rinse very well under cold water and towel dry. For cooking directions, see previous page.

If your refrigerator isn't big enough for the turkey, you can place the pot outside, providing it's 40 degrees or less (don't worry if it's freezing, the salt will prevent a hard freeze), or place the container in a bath tub and surround with plenty of ice.